Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Character Archetypes




No film comes without its character archetypes, Lord of the Rings is a film which contains many to allow the story and characters to have an element of some comedy and seriousness. In many films it can be clearly seen that characters have purposefully been put in to their archetypes, seen in films such as The Princess Bride, The Goonies and The Lord of the Rings. For this review I have chosen too look at The Lord of the Rings due to its range of characters.

The Hero is clearly the main and most established character within the first act, the role of the Hero falls onto Frodo Baggins when the story begins with him inheriting Bilbo Baggins ring without knowledge of it being the One Ring. The Mentor, Gandalf then comes into the film in an appearance of a wise old man, whom is full of wisdom. As he suspected about the ring in Frodo's possession, he warns the Hero of the dangers and informs him to leave the Shire along with The Sidekick, Samwise Gamgee, a rotund young man who lives his life as a gardener - typical to the archetype that The Sidekick lives a simple life before their call to adventure with The Hero. Along their journey out of the Shire towards Bree, The Trickster appears in the form of Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck with both of the characters being mischievous and sneaky as they followed Frodo and Sam discreetly out of the Shire. It could be argued that Merry and Pippin are also The Sidekick within this story as they stay close to Frodo along his journey and aid him along the way, It is clear that a theres a possibility that the characters within this film are not constricted to their one archetype, nor is the archetype constricted to one character. For example, Aragon also plays the role of The Hero in this trilogy as the company of 9 finds themselves split from one another. Legolas and Gimli also play the role of The Sidekick alongside Aragon.


The Mother comes in the form of Galadriel, the elf queen and a wise woman. As the company of the 9 gathers and the story progresses Galadriel helps the company to engage with each other and cooperate, her role as The Mother progresses as she begins to present each one with a gift to help them on their journey to destroy the One Ring. The Child in this story are the hobbits due to their small size and their nature in the beginning of the trilogy they come across strongly as The Child when compared to the rest of the company.

Further into the films The Shadow comes into play as Gollum, with his deceiving antics and his attempts to regain the One Ring show his Shadow-self through his split personality. The Trickster is an archetype in this film which is shared between characters, Gollum along with Merry and Pip play this role with their antics within the films, by misleading and giving false truths. The Maiden and Villain both clearly play important roles within the trilogy although they do not have much screen time. Sauron, The Villain motivates the films story as it is about destroying the ring so he cannot gain the power to become physical again. The Maiden, Arwen plays the role of the love of Aragorn, she is the sheer motivation for him to stay alive and to return to take his rightful place as the king of Arnor and Gondor, despite their mortality differences she stays as the elves flee middle earth.

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